Category Archives: Newsletter

Advocating for Apprenticeship

As companies struggle to identify and attract workers, apprenticeship has been identified as an important piece of the puzzle. Engaging businesses in conversations about the benefits of establishing their own apprenticeship program continues to be a major focus.

NCWorks and NextGen staff were at the Johnston County Apprenticeship Information Session to explain how workforce services can actually enhance an apprenticeship program. OJT training dollars can reimburse employers a percentage of wages paid during the training period and Catalyst 2020 funding can be used to fund third-party training of their incumbent workers.

CAWD’s private sector board members are also playing  a major role! The demand for skilled professionals is at a 10-year high across industries. Nearly 1.5 million are employed within the manufacturing industry! Charlie Bell, president at Studio TK, hosted an apprenticeship information session and open house at his location in Clayton. In addition, Charlie and Stephen Miller of Novo Nordisk are both partners in the Johnston County Apprenticeship Program (JCAP).

Training-to-Work Reentry and Construction

The Training-to-Work Reentry Initiative  is successfully placing ex-offenders in construction-related training and jobs.

Data shows that reentrants employed two months after re-entry are about half as likely to recidivate as those who are unemployed. And among the employed, those earning more than $10 per hour are half as likely.

Being able to place participants in construction jobs where average wages are well in excess of $10 per hour will permit them to successfully sustain a household and ease the transition back into the mainstream community. Potential median earnings for those that stay in the construction industry are $19.66/hour for Wake County and $17.20 for Johnston.

Training-to-Work ends in September. Below are outcomes to date.

• 44 have entered employment
• 55 have entered occupational training
• 60 have earned industry credentials

Celebrating YouthBuild Milestones

An awards banquet was held recently at the City of Raleigh Museum to celebrate achievements of Capital Area’s YouthBuild participants.  Friends and family of the participants attended as well as program partners from Habitat for Humanity, NC Association of Building Contractors, City of Raleigh, and NCWorks NextGen.

Certificates and plaques were awarded for Outstanding Achievement, Perseverance, and Leadership. One participant received a trophy after being voted MVP – Most Valuable Participant.

Some award recipients shared personal stories about the positive effects of YouthBuild on their lives. Done properly, graduates leave prepared for success in higher education, apprenticeships, and in the workplace.

As the final cohort begins, we are confident that program goals will be met and participants will see results from their hard work.

Here are outcomes to date:

Participants: 45

  • 24 have entered jobs, apprenticeships, or higher education
  • 42 earned PACT construction certification
  • 17 have completed 320 hours of work experience
  • 6 have earned their GEDs

National Recognition for CAWD

CAWD received 2 national awards in April.

The Laurie Moran Partnership Award was given by the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB). The award recognizes workforce boards that have formed significant partnerships with chambers of commerce to advance workforce and economic development in their local area. CAWD shares the award with The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce/Wake County Economic Development program. 

The award is named in honor of Laurie Moran who served on a board in Danville, VA and was President of the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce from 2002 until her passing. Moran built many bridges in her community, jointly promoting the importance of interdependence of workforce and economic development.

Executive Director Pat Sturdivant has been awarded the Peter E. Kaiser Leadership Award by the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals! She will receive the award at the NAWDP conference in May. She will be recognized during the opening general session and the NAWDP Chair’s Reception.

An ad has been submitted for the conference program on behalf of the board and staff congratulating Pat on the win and thanking her for her exceptional leadership!

Youth Summit Says “Raise Your Game!”

Youth and young adults that participate in workforce programs across the state descended on the Embassy Suites in Cary for the 13th Annual Youth Summit. Over 360 youth and staff signed up. Governor Cooper could not make it to the event but did send a well-received recorded greeting welcoming them to the summit.

In keeping with the “Raise Your Game” theme, several hands-on and interactive activities were featured to challenge and motivate attendees, including college tours of Shaw University, Louisburg College and NC Central University. Workshops conducted by Leading to Change included: 

• Finding Your Spark
• Making Your Movement
• Shark Tank Got Nothing on Me

Attendees also enjoyed an evening Gala, an American Idol-style talent show and several games.

At the end of the 2-day summit, young people walked away with new tools, ideas, and skills needed to keep their goals on point. Congratulations to all of the NextGen staff for planning an outstanding event!

Coming soon: Johnston County Job Fair!

The NCWorks Johnston County Job Fair is on May 9th at the Clayton Community Center. This years event is sponsored by S.T. Wooten.

Approximately 55 employers are expected, including OPW, Duke University and Duke University Health System, 3C Packaging, Wake County Government, FedEx, and AAF Flanders. As of right now, 46 businesses have signed up.

There is no fee for businesses or job seekers!

The employer list is updated regularly. Copy/paste this link into your browser to download.

NCWorks Center in Cary Closing Soon

December 14th will be the last day of operations for the career center in Cary. Other options are being communicated to those who need services.

CAWD is working with Dorcas Ministries in Cary to enhance their job training center.  Dorcas has volunteer coaches that assist with job hunts, resume writing, career advising, and basic computer training.  Enhancements include additional technology, computers, and staff preparation.

Customers also have the option to connect via the new call center using whichever method they prefer – phone, chat, or email.  In addition, career centers in Fuquay-Varina and Raleigh are also prepared to help Cary customers onsite.

CAWD understands the challenges job seekers face and we believe these accommodations will help meet the job-related needs of customers in Cary.

Serving the Business Community

The ability to provide business solutions related to talent requires staying current about their needs and educating them about viable options that can solve their problems.

In October, CAWD along with Raleigh Economic Development  and Wake Tech held Triangle Talent IT Round Table.  This was a natural “next step” from the regional workforce study conducted in 2017. The survey allowed  workforce system partners to more fully understand the needs of local employers when it comes to IT positions and how they impact business growth and competitiveness.

Over 45 educators, workforce and economic developers  attended to hear from a diverse set of employers ranging from life sciences, healthcare, government, tech and the retail sector.

In November, we presented Workforce Ready 2018 where the theme was  “Apprenticeships: Powering Your Talent Pipeline.” The goal was to educate businesses on the benefits of establishing apprenticeship programs, introduce organizations who can help, and to hear directly from other business leaders who established their own programs. Over 100 people attended.

Both of these events were moderated by CAWD private sector board members; Rodney Carson of SAS and Tony Marshall of Innovative Systems Group.

New Call Center Launched

Job seekers in Wake and Johnston counties can now receive some career center services by chat, email web forms, and phone.

The call center, named Access NCWorks, is staffed by career center team members who can answer basic questions and help customers navigate NCWorks Online. In addition to job search assistance, staff can make referrals to other community organizations.

Chat and email are available directly via or through

The call center is a major step towards helping individuals in vulnerable communities, and the disabled, access career services without having to travel to a physical location. If
you have clients who can benefit from this service, have them log-on or call the center
at 919-715-0111.



Board Meeting Will Focus on Partner Priorities

The last few board meetings have focused on service providers; their successes, challenges, and all that is involved in generating positive outcomes. These conversations have helped board members to better understand the inner workings of running year-round and grant-funded programs.

Similar conversations will be held with CAWD’s key partners. Leaders from our community colleges, economic development, the workforce commission and board association have agreed to participate.

These meetings are an important element for CAWD’s dedication to continuous improvement and inform decision-making related to setting priorities, board committee work, and resources needed for successful outcomes.

We’re listening!